Collection of Cunning Curiosities – August 1, 2015

Johann Georg Hainz's Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Johann Georg Hainz’s Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

A weekly compendium of things that delight my fancy.

Dear Internet, You can follow this collection on Pinterest. x0x0, lisa

Reading

Reading has remained pretty steady even though I’ve taken up a new hobby that perhaps I haven’t mentioned, coloring. Yes, I’m apparently 5 (again).

I finished Scarlett Thomas’ Dead Clever, which I really liked. The anti-mystery (if you’re a fan of Kate Atkinson, you’ll like this) was predictable in some ways but the writing was tight and not superfluous, which I adored. Rainbow Rowell’s Landline I also really liked, again, for the near sparse writing, atmosphere, and storyline. It also helped the main characters and I are in the same age group because it seems lately most of the characters in contemporary fiction are millennials or old fucks. Being stuck in the middle puts my nose out of joint.

I finished the series of Jane Austen, Vampire with Jane Goes Batty and Jane Vows Vengeance by Michael Thomas Ford, in which Jane is turned by Lord Byron and lives secret life in contemporary up state New York. The premise sounds ridiculous but it’s funny, fluffy, and a nice palette cleanser.

Right now I’m reading The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell and The Dragons at Crumbling Castle by Terry Pratchett. I’m hoping to have these finished by Sunday, when I move, but I don’t think that’s going to be possible.

Fanciful Delights



I’m not going to lie: I’m totally a child of the ’80s. It’s not rare to find me blaring songs from my days in high school and early college days. When I heard there was a remix of Tainted Love called, appropriately naughts version, Tweeted Love, I thought it was amusing. Then I saw the video and thought it was fucking brilliant. The premise contains the song in forms of tweet names. Trust me, whomever came up with this is a genius.

Clarice Lispector's MONKEYS
Clarice Lispector’s MONKEYS

I have mentioned Clarice Lispector many times before and I will continue to mention her until everyone has read her work. This week, Pen America published Lispector’s Monkeys as part of their flash series and it’s hard to believe how contemporary Lispector’s work is despite the fact it was written over 70 years ago. Go. Read. Love her. You won’t regret it.

 

 

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2013, 2o13, 2o12, 2012, 20122011, 2003, 2003, 1999

Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes for January 17, 2015

Johann Georg Hainz's Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Johann Georg Hainz’s Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

During the Renaissance, cabinet of curiosities came into fashion as a collection of objects that would often defy classification. As a precursor to the modern museum, the cabinet referred to room(s), not actual furniture, of things that piqued the owners interest and would be collected and displayed in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes is my 21st century interpretation of that idea.

 

Dear Internet,

You can follow me on Pinterest on what I’m readingwatching, and listening.

Reading

Finished

weddingnightWedding Night by  Sophie Kinsella
(Amazon | WorldCat | GoodReads)

You read Kinsella when you want fluffy, not terrible hard thinking pieces. But the thing I’ve noticed about her work is that underneath the marshmallow, there tends to be some kind of point in play that resonates with the reader. Wedding Night is no different from Kinsella’s previous books, in that it involves a madcap character who always gets herself into scrapes and how she ends up getting out of them. For that I’m grateful that when I need something that doesn’t require much processing while I read, Kinsella delivers. It’s a fun romp that really is a meditation of what is love. Recommended when you need something to brighten your day or just want to have fun.

Currently Reading

chestnutstreet Chestnut Street by Maeve Binchy
(Amazon | WorldCat | GoodReads)

After finishing Wedding Night, I wanted to continue on with the “doesn’t-require-a-lot-of-brain-power” books and of course I pick Binchy who is anything BUT fluff.

Chestnut Street is a series of vignettes that revolve around, well, Chestnut Street. I tend to love titles that use inanimate objects as a character, and this book is no exception to that love. Even within the humour of the book there are often dark undertones of the human condition we don’t want to think about or even acknowledge. The perfect family but the mother is sleeping with everyone. The grumpy old man whom isn’t really so grumpy as lonely. The girl who lies to her family about her living status so she won’t be shamed. I like that you can dip in and out of the book without having to read it straight through as the, thus far, only connection between all of these characters is the street they either live on or are associated with. Highly recommended.

lifeafterlifeLife After Life by Kate Atkinson
(Amazon | WorldCat | GoodReads)
Status: In progress

Wow. I started this book nearly two years ago and I haven’t barely made a dent into it. Interestingly, I have been carting it around with me from place to place as the only physical book in my possession with the hopes that I would someday finish it. New goal for January: Finish this fucking book!

 

 

 

Bagged and Boarded

greenlanternET

Emerald Twilight
(Amazon | WorldCat | GoodReads)
Why is Hal bat shit crazy? What’s going to happen to the Guardians? These questions must be answered!

Watching

Now that I’m settled into my own digs, all of my TV watching is going to be done via apps like HBO GO or Hulu+. I’m just going to touch briefly on the shows I’m on this week since there will be a lot!

  • Banshee My favorite Amish mafia, anonymous anti-hero, Slavic mob influenced TV show is BACK. I am SO. EXCITED. I don’t know anyone other than TSTBEH who watches this show, so please, if you need a show that has fantastic writing, brilliant character depictions, and great plot lines, this is the show for you.
  • House of Lies They’re backkkkk. Kaan and Associates are back and ready for action. TSTBEH wasn’t a huge fan of this show, but I love the gossipy, stabby in the back feel to the plot lines and I have a huge lady crush on Kristen Bell.
  • Episodes Matt LeBlanc parodying Matt LeBlanc. Tamsin Greig. A whole rich cast of supporting characters. Screwing with the establishment. Another great show from SHO and while we wait for Game of Thrones, makes Sundays seems a lot more bearable.
  • Constantine No one seems to know if this show is canceled or not, at least as of late November. I, however, like this show. I adore Matt Ryan in the titular role and I like the weekly artefact/mystery building. It reminds me a lot of the old Friday night show, Friday the 13th, which ran in the late ’80s. I really hope this show gets renewed for another season.
  • Marvel’s Agent Carter Strong female lead? Check. Great clothes? Check. Great lipstick? Check. Kicks major ass without the Cap’n? Check. Has a male sidekick? Check. This show is so much WHY we need more female superheros in leads and less about the mens. This is also one show I will totally sign anything to get renewed as a proper series AND will be buying the DVD.
  • Galavant I am, typically, not a fan of musicals but I do love fairy tales. With that in mind, I was a tad skeptical of this show but ooh boy, am I ever glad I’m wrong. Subtle pop culture references galore, catchy lyrics, absurd yet fun plot line. Timothy Omundson and his magnificent beard! I plowed through the first three episodes in one sitting and I’m hungry for more.
  • The Musketeers The boys are back! Slightly kitschy, a titch of ridiculousness, but 100% fun.
  • The Librarians And of COURSE I’m watching. Wouldn’t you?

Links

What have you read/watched/listened to this week?

x0x0,
lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 1999

Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes: August 17, 2013

Johann Georg Hainz's Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Johann Georg Hainz’s Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

During the Renaissance, cabinet of curiosities came into fashion as a collection of objects that would often defy classification. As a precursor to the modern museum, the cabinet referred to room(s), not actual furniture, of things that piqued the owners interest and would be collected and displayed in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes is my 21st century interpretation of that idea.

 

Dear Internet,

I’ve been sick with the plague half the week and traveling a lot the other half, so not a whole lot of what I wanted to do got done. There was also a lot of sleeping involved, and it’s hard to consume media when you’re dreaming of living in a villa in Italy.

Writing

The Lisa Chronicles

Listening

  • Cabin Pressure
    Still working my way through the series, but I’m now at the beginning of season 3, which means it’s only a few more short cabin commutes before I’m done again. Thankfully, I’ve got a few things lined up to take its place.
  • Night Vale
    I mentioned this last week and a few days prior to that and finally got a chance to listen to 5 or so episodes of the show. It is delightful and reminds me much of our little village in northern Michigan. It’s especially poignant when reading the police blotter of the weekly newspaper.

Reading

I cannot tell a lie Internet, reading has been poor but in so far as books have gone. I’ve been consuming more content via my RSS feeds — even bankrupted the count to 0, which was glorious, and have been keeping up with feeds instead of shunning them like the pox. I’ve also been keeping up with my magazine subscriptions (Vanity Fair, New Yorker, JASNA, American Libraries) and work routing magazines (BBC History, Computers in Libraries, Library Journal).

Books currently in rotation:

Watching

  • Miranda
    I binged watched this again while I was sick this week and I still love every moment of it. Rumours are that it will be back in 2015, which seems awfully far away but isn’t. My next goal is to pick up her book, Is it Just Me?. in audio format as that is apparently the only way to consume it as Hart herself narrates.
  • Time Traveller’s Guide to Elizabethan England
    Based on the book of the same time, Ian Mortimer takes you through a time period but as a travelling guide. Interesting concept, and in written form it works quite well. In visual form, some of the effects were off putting and I found myself mind wandering in some spots, but overall very interesting. The two biggst issues I had were of the constant shots of Mortimer walking through desolate fields and the CGI drawn in effects how things might have looked. It felt a little too flash bang.
  • The Bridge (US)
    Based off the Swedish/Danish series of the same name, the US version places a murder on the Bridge of the Americas, joining El Paso, TX and Juarez, Mexico. Crime solving with one main character from each state department entangles, hilarity ensues. Not really. While the show as a lot great moments, some of the characters seems a little wooden. We also found that while we have watched all the episodes, the catch up of the previous week’s episodes we never saw or remember. Despite its quirks and often sloppy dialog and plot lines, there is enough to keep us entranced each week.

Weekly watching: Project RunwayThe NewsroomTrue Blood, Sons of Anarchy, Burn Notice,  Da Vinci’s Demons,  The Vampire Diaries
xoxo,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2011, 2010